By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
On a sluggish day that only one medal, a silver, was won by a Thai athlete (Chayanisa Chomchuendee in women's pole vault), the Kingdom’s boxers remained on track to scoop the golds they targeted before the competition.
It started with 21-year-old Rujakran Juntrong easing past Farrand Papendang of Indonesia 5-0 in the men’s lightweight division.
Sudaporn Seesondee then beat Rimma Volossenko of Kazakhstan 4-1 in the women’s lightweight and Yuttapong Tongdee completed the hat-trick of successes with a 3-2 win over Gan-Erdene Gankhuyag of Mongolia in the men’s flyweight.
“I’m quite happy with my performance considering it’s my first time in the Asian Games,” said the young Rujakran, who will take on Uzbek Shunkor Abdurasulov in the semi-final on Friday.
“My goal is now to win the gold. I have no fear against any rival right now. But I have to get physically tougher for my next bout.”
2014 World Championships bronze medallist Sudaporn was delighted with her first Asian Games medal – but she isn’t settling for bronze.
“We didn’t come here for the bronze – the gold medal is what our association set its sights on. I was under great pressure before the fight but it is a load off [my shoulders] now,” said the 26-year-old from Nakhon Ratchasima. She will face Huswatun Hasanah of Indonesia on Friday.
Later in the evening, Saylom Ardee reached his first ever Games semi-final following a 5-0 win over Iranian Sajjad Kazemzadeh Poshtiri in men's welterweight before Nilawan Techasuep became the fifth Thai boxer on the day to reach the final four stage after she beat Saniya Sultankyzy of Kazakhstan 3-2 in women's featherweight.
Two Games favourites – Chatchai Butdee and Wuttichai Masuk – are in action today. 2015 Asian Championships gold medallist Chatchai meets North Korea’s Jo Hyo Nam in a bantamweight bout at 2pm and light welterweight champion Wuttichai follows against Bekdaulet Ibragimov of Kazakhstan at 6.30pm.
Meawnhile in men’s hockey, Thailand beat Kazakhstan 3-2 to reach the second round, while the women’s basketball team beat Mongolia 80-51 in the fifth-eighth placed classification 5-8.
In women’s sepak takraw quadrant preliminary Group B, Thailand ousted Malaysia 2-0.